Walsh’s ‘Bonnie’ Holds Up Tor
In a world-rights deal, Tor’s Bess Cozby bought Jenni L. Walsh’s debut novel, Becoming Bonnie. Set in the 1920s, the historical novel follows 16-year-old Bonnelyn Parker, whose life plans—to become a teacher and settle down with her longtime boyfriend Roy—are dashed after her family falls into dire financial straits. The wholesome Bonnelyn is forced to take a job at a speakeasy in Dallas, where she meets a handsome wild man named Clyde Barrow. Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich, who represented the author, said the book “tells the untold story of how Bonnelyn becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo.” Set for a spring 2017 release, the book has also been optioned for television by Edyson Entertainment.
SMP Goes ‘Next’ for Gangi
Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin’s Press preempted world rights to Stephanie Gangi’s debut novel, The Next, from Meg Ruley and Andrea Cirillo at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. Enderlin called the book, slated for October 2016, “a ghost story, a love story, a revenge story, and a dog story.” In the novel, a woman who dies and becomes a ghost decides to seek vengeance on the younger lover who betrayed her. Set in Manhattan, the heroine returns to find out that her beloved pooch is the only one aware of her new existence.
Posthumous Collection Goes to Ecco
A collection of rediscovered short stories by the professor and playwright Kathleen Collins has been acquired by Ecco. Megan Lynch nabbed U.S. rights to Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? and plans to release the title in trade paperback through Ecco’s line dedicated to short fiction, Art of the Story. Collins, who died in 1988, taught film at City College in New York. Interest in her resurfaced after the Film Society of Lincoln Center premiered an unreleased narrative feature she made in 1982, called Losing Ground. (The movie, which received strong critical praise, appeared in a February series called Tell It like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968–1986.) Like the film, the short stories in the collection were found by Collins’s daughter. Describing the stories, Ecco said they capture everyday moments with “poignancy and grace” while tackling larger issues, such as race and gender, “in a very personal, intimate way.” The collection, which Heather Schroder at Compass Talent sold, is set for a fall 2016 release.
Emmich Begins ‘Forgetting’ For Clain
Actor and musician Val Emmich sold his debut, The Highs and Lows of Never Forgetting, to Judy Clain at Little, Brown. Jeff Kleinman, at Folio Literary Management, brokered the North American rights deal for Emmich, who’s had small roles on TV shows such as Ugly Betty and 30 Rock. The novel follows Joan, an aspiring 10-year-old musician who has the ability to recall her life in full detail. Knowing Joan’s gift, and that she knew his recently deceased wife, TV star Gavin seeks her out. But Joan, who herself worries about being forgotten, will share her recollections of Gavin’s wife only if he helps her write a song that will make her famous. The book sold in a flurry of foreign deals during last month’s Frankfurt Book Fair—it was acquired by houses in Brazil, Italy, Germany, and other countries—before it was sent to publishers in the U.S. It is also out for film, with Sylvie Rabineau representing it.
Knopf Steals Schulman’s ‘Money Kings’
Andrew Miller at Knopf preempted North American rights, for mid-six figures, to Dan Schulman’s nonfiction book Money Kings. Howard Yoon at the Ross Yoon Agency, who brokered the deal, called the title “a big book of finance and cultural history.” It chronicles the handful of German Jewish families, among them the Lehmans and the Goldmans, who immigrated to the U.S. in the 19th century and wound up building our present financial system. Yoon said the book shows how, as the families gained wealth and power in the run-up to the beginning of the 20th century and the first World War, they faced increasing conflicts around “identifying themselves as German, Jewish, and American.” Schulman (Sons of Wichita) is the deputy Washington bureau chief at Mother Jones.
Rabb Explores the ‘Living’ At Other Press
Judith Gurewich at Other Press nabbed world rights to Jonathan Rabb’s Among the Living. Rabb (the Berlin Trilogy) follows a Czech concentration camp survivor who winds up in the U.S. in Georgia, in 1947, thanks to family ties. Once there, he bears witness to the rising racial tensions in his adopted community. Judythe Cohen at Janklow and Nesbit Associates, who sold the book, said it depicts “the lives of Jews and blacks in the South prior to civil rights, as witnessed by a white man who understands what it is to be seen as subhuman.”